Saturday, June 20, 2009

My Brooks tapering camp: Day 3

Day 3 had a similar structure than Day 2 so, although the content was totally different, it almost became like a routine. A nice one that is, which will end tomorrow though...

Our morning run was again quite chilly. I did another 7.5-mile out and back on the other side of the valley, and we ran through a few patches of snow (and much more snow for those who went to the top and over the ridge). The Cascadias were the perfect shoes to avoid slipping on these patches. I'm planning on running Western Sates next week with three models of Cascadias, the 3, 4 and 5 (changing pairs at Robinson Flat then at the far side of Rucky Chucky).
After breakfast we started our group activities with a team competition. 4 teams and 4 games, with the Pink and Orange teams finishing in a tie, and the Orange taking over by a few strides in the final rematch.
Then, similarly to yesterday's apparel focus groups, we had footwear-related stations to visit from 10:30 to noon. Blind testing of shoes from Brooks and competitors, evaluation of new designs and new insoles, votes on color designs, contest on shoe coloring (yes, we worked hard! ;-).
After lunch, Keith Hanson told us about the Brooks Hanson Distance Project he created in the Summer of 1999 with his brother, Kevin, to get the US distance running to the next level. Great successes in such a period with, overall, 21 runners representing the US at the World Half-Marathon Championships since 2001. One of the Hanson team, Mike Morgan, shared some personal stories about the super intensive training he is going through.Following Keith's presentation, like yesterday, we could pick 2 out of three breakouts, presentations offered by three ID members: Kate Conwell on Core Strength, Katherine Phillips on Coaching for Women and Bill Hoffman on Race Event Planning. Bill provided us with interesting tips, illustrating a long checklist with his experience as Meet Director of the Brooks Memphis Twilight Classic, an even he created in 2003. I then attended Kate's session. Kate is an elite at pole vault and finished 6th at the last US Olympic trials. Here's a link to a video interview of her, courtesy of the Seattle Times. She had selected some of her favorite core strength exercises and I'm glad we were actually not doing the full repeats that she is used to put when training consistently, because many of these exercises are really challenging. But sure beneficial, no doubt about that!
We all gathered again to listen to John's presentation on the 2010 models and got some free time before taking the chair lift up to the Summit House Bistro. At 6,872', this is the highest restaurant in the State of Washington. The view was supposed to be stunning except for the thick cloud up there, not to mention the sub-40 temperatures. Speaking of heat training for Western States, it was colder than my winters in the Bay Area... Anyway, we had the whole restaurant for ourselves, great food, great ambiance, and yet another competitive game, in the form of a trivia on Brooks and the Hansons' Distance Project.
The way down on the chair lift was pretty cold, with the breeze, and it felt good to get to the bar of the main lodge for a hot party. A closing celebration which is easier to describe with colorful pictures than thousand words... (click on the picture below to enlarge it)
Again, check my Picasa photo album out for (many!) more pictures, and a few short videos illustrating this busy and fun day.

Tomorrow is Day 4, mostly packing and driving back to the airport. Just in time to get back home for... Father's Day! Have a good night in the meantime.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Un peu froid pour se préparer à Western States?
Très fructueux pour toi tout de même apparemment.